Your Own Home Gym
With nearly a year of the pandemic under your belt, it’s quite possible that what rests above that belt has grown a little—or a lot. After all, with gyms in many areas closed, access to regular fitness activities limited, people sheltering at home, and too much time spent nervously scanning the latest news reports, many of us have gained weight during quarantine.
Luckily, you aren’t condemned to carry that extra weight forever. With a healthy diet and regular exercise in your very own home, you can lose those unwanted pounds, gain muscle, tone your body, and improve your sleep and mood.
Here are the best picks for your home gym. Whether you start with just one, go all-out and get them all, or settle somewhere in the middle, you’ll be on your way to better health and fitness.
Related: Design a Home Gym
Pedal Away the Pounds
Whether your pedaling pace is fast and furious or a bit more leisurely, an exercise bike like the Yosuda Indoor Cycling Stationary Bike works your legs, glutes, and core as you burn away calories. This upright stationary bike has multiple resistance settings, so you can increase the difficulty as your fitness improves. The large padded seat keeps your workout comfortable, and the LCD monitor shows your time, distance, speed, and calories burned at a glance. Available on Amazon ; $349.99.
Pull Yourself Up
While pull-ups are undeniably difficult at first, they are highly effective at strengthening the upper body and toning your arms, back, chest, and shoulders. The Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull-Up Bar easily installs in any standard doorway that’s between 26 and 39 inches wide, and lets you get to work increasing your muscle tone, endurance, and overall strength. The padded foam grips on this pull-up bar keep you from slipping and reduce hand pain and fatigue. Available on Amazon ; $43.98.
Dumbbells are among the most versatile tools for strengthening and toning your arms, chest, and shoulders. There are near-endless exercises you can do with them, including simple arm curls to tone up your biceps and kickbacks to work your triceps. Typically, however, you need multiple sets in various weights to challenge yourself—but not with the Merax Deluxe Dumbbells. These high-end dumbbells each have a dial that lets you easily adjust the weight in 5.5-pound increments, from 11 pounds all the way up to 71.5 pounds, meaning you get the equivalent of 12 separate dumbbells in one. The set of two dumbbells is available with or without a stand. Available on Amazon ; $859.99.
Simple Yet Effective
A kettlebell is very simple in design: Basically, it’s just a heavy metal ball topped with a handle. But don’t be fooled by that simplicity; these versatile gym staples provide a serious workout and can be used to tone your entire body, depending on how you swing or lift them. The smooth, black iron kettlebells from Rogue Fitness have a wide enough handle to fit both of your hands, which increases your workout options, and have a flattened base so they won’t roll when you set them down. They are available in weights from 9 pounds all the way up to a whopping 203 pounds, so whatever your fitness level, there’s a choice that’s right for you. Available from Rogue Fitness ; prices vary.
Related: 12 Chores to Do Around the House Instead of Going to the Gym
Roll Your Abs Flat and Fit
An ab roller, which is essentially a wheel with a handle on each side, is another simple fitness tool with powerful benefits. As you roll your way through the wide range of possible exercises, you are strengthening and toning all of your abdominal muscles, back muscles, hip flexors, and glutes. The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller has an ultra-wide wheel and ergonomic handles, making the device very stable and easy on your hands. It even includes a foam kneepad for comfort while working out on hard floors. Available on Amazon ; $35.39.
Have a Ball
Whether you call it an exercise ball, Swiss ball, or stability ball, this large—typically between 55 and 85 cm in diameter—rubber ball is like an entire gym in one bouncy sphere. Your exercise options are vast—you can target your abs and core, lower body, and upper body very effectively with just this one piece of exercise equipment. And with the highly durable, slip- and burst-resistant exercise ball from URBNFit, you’ll be getting in shape and dropping excess pounds in no time. Choose from five sizes and numerous colors. You’ll also get a helpful digital workout guide. Available on Amazon ; $14.99-$34.97.
Row Weight Away
You won’t glide gracefully across the water while you’re working out on the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine, but you’ll certainly be working your entire body, from your shoulders right down to your lower legs. Despite the reasonable price, this sturdy rowing machine has a lot of great features, including quiet and smooth performance, eight resistance settings, foam hand grips, nonslip foot pedals, and an LCD monitor that displays time, count, and calories burned. Wheels make it easy to maneuver the machine into storage when not being used. Available on Amazon ; $268.02.
Related: The Pros and Cons of Finishing Your Unfinished Basement
Cushion Your Step
A workout mat is a must-have for any type of home workout, providing protection not only for your joints but also for your floors. And the ProsourceFit Tri-Fold Folding Thick Exercise Mat goes a step beyond the typical flat mat; this 1.5-inch-thick exercise mat is easy to fold up once your workout is over and has two carrying handles for easy transport. Unfolded, the mat measures 6 feet by 2 feet. Choose from five colors. Available on Amazon ; $43.22.
Stretch Your Way Fit
Resistance bands are basically stretchy lengths of latex, fabric, or rubber, often with handles on the ends. But these simple bands can be used to tone every inch of your body effectively and quickly, and you’ll find a huge range of exercise routines based on these fitness tools. The latex set from TRIBE PREMIUM has everything you need to get started: five bands in different resistances from 5 pounds to 35 pounds, two cushioned handles, a door anchor, two ankle straps, a carry bag, and a digital exercise guide. It’s like an entire gym in one handy bag that barely takes up any storage space. Available on Amazon ; $26.99.
Go for a Walk
Don’t let bad weather, lack of daylight, or social distancing keep you from going on a daily walk. With the Sunny Health & Fitness Smart Treadmill, you can get your steps in whenever you want. Plus, with the built-in speakers, media port, and Bluetooth connectivity, you can keep yourself entertained as you walk. The treadmill has a top speed of 8 mph and offers 12 levels of incline (from 0 to 12 percent), heart-rate-monitoring grips, several preset workout programs, and a digital control panel displaying your speed, distance, time, calories burned, and heart rate. Fold it up and easily wheel it into storage when you aren’t using it. Available on Amazon ; $499.99.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!